Bill Kristol and James O’Keefe Are Sleazy, But They’re Still Heroes of The Conservative Movement

Sheer Rock Face Monument Valley wallpaper

Sheer Rock Face Monument Valley wallpaper

The first two parts of this post are about specific issues, but also about the conservative movement’s inability to admit wrong, to have moral priorities and the media establishment’s tendency to never punish conservative “experts” for being repeatedly wrong. Fox Analysts Urge “Irresponsible” Obama To Do “Something,” But Won’t Say What

Bill Kristol (William Kristol) wants to go to war in Syria, but he won’t say what that war should look like. Appearing on Fox News Sunday to discuss reports of chemical weapons attacks in Syria, the Weekly Standard editor (and noted Iraq war hawk) attacked President Obama as “totally irresponsible” for indicating that he doesn’t want “to start another war,” saying: “You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

[   ]…Kristol’s call for (non-specific) military action got a boost from Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume, who observed: “There’s something to be said for doing something. That if they cross a line, you’ve got to do something. Now whatever it is may not directly affect the chemical weapons use, but if it directly affects and harms the regime’s prospects in the war, that would at least be a consequence.”

According to Hume, doing “something” (whatever that is) wouldn’t be as difficult as people suspect. “This isn’t Mission: Impossible.”

The Chicken-Hawk conservative experts are as brave about spending other people’s lives as they ever were. This is the gravely serious analysis Kristol gave the USA in 2003,

On March 17, 2003, on the eve of our invasion of Iraq, Bill Kristol wrote the following:

We are tempted to comment, in these last days before the war, on the U.N., and the French, and the Democrats. But the war itself will clarify who was right and who was wrong about weapons of mass destruction. It will reveal the aspirations of the people of Iraq, and expose the truth about Saddam’s regime. It will produce whatever effects it will produce on neighboring countries and on the broader war on terror. We would note now that even the threat of war against Saddam seems to be encouraging stirrings toward political reform in Iran and Saudi Arabia, and a measure of cooperation in the war against al Qaeda from other governments in the region. It turns out it really is better to be respected and feared than to be thought to share, with exquisite sensitivity, other people’s pain. History and reality are about to weigh in, and we are inclined simply to let them render their verdicts.

Well, it’s been almost four years since Kristol penned those smug, taunting words, and I think it’s fair to say that history and reality have indeed weighed in. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Our invasion has destabilized the entire region (and not in a positive way) and has actually exacerbated the overall terrorist threat our country faces. We are no longer feared or respected, at least nowhere near the degree we were before the invasion. Over 3000 American soldiers have lost their lives (with many thousands more badly injured). Tens of thousands of Iraqis (perhaps hundreds of thousands) have been killed and millions more displaced. We’ve squandered billions of dollars, as well as our national credibility and mystique. And our armed forces are currently bogged down and stretched to the limit as they undertake the thankless task of policing an escalating civil war.

Kristol and his sycophants in the conservative movement have always tried to portray Kristol as their sober cleared eyed foreign policy expert. Kristol is not one to be content to always be wrong about one field of expertise. He has an equally shaky grasp of economics. Paul Krugman Lied and Made Paul Ryan Cry, Then The Economy Died,

The new line on the right is that the economy is now swooning because President Obama criticized Paul Ryan.

And here, via Nexis, is Bill Kristol on Fox News Sunday:

Two months ago, the economy’s prospects looked better and President Obama’s political prospects looked better. Then he gave that speech on April 13th. It was at Georgetown, where he demagogically attacked the Paul Ryan budget and basically started employing the “Mediscare” tactics.

I don’t think it’s an accident that the people have lost confidence in the last two months. I actually think it’s hurt him politically.

Remember earlier this year he was going to compromise with Republicans, he was getting serious about the debt, he was pivoting to the center? I think that April 13 speech could be a moment where people look back and say, he went for a short-term political benefit, but hurt his prospects next year and hurt the economy.

David Frum rebuts:

I would myself lay much more emphasis on economic factors like: (i) the continuing destruction of American consumer wealth as housing prices deflate; (ii) the burden of rising oil prices; (iii) the collective decision of American consumers to increase their saving by 6 points of personal income – a laudable decision, but one that subtracts a lot of demand from the economy.

But if I were a believer in the business confidence theory, here’s the counter-question I’d put to Michael Barone:

Which is more likely to subtract from business confidence: a lame speech by the president – or a highly credible and sustained threat by the majority party in the House of Representatives to force a default on the debts, contracts, and other obligations of the United States?

Frum is also a conservative. While David racks up a fair share of wrongs, he comes out looking like Einstein  next to Kristol. Part two of there is no downside to being bonehead conservative, James O’Keefe’s New Gonzo Army. The Breitbart protégé is hunting for some like-minded compatriots.

And so, on a sunny April morning, here they are at a Citizen Watchdog Summit aimed at training them in the art of citizen journalism, an event sponsored by the conservative Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which was created with support from David and Charles Koch. After an opening address, a speaker asks for a little audience participation.

“How many of you are on Facebook?” About half the agents raise their hands.

“How many of you are on Twitter?” About a quarter raise their hands.

“How many of you have done online video?” Two hands rise up from the crowd.

This is a bit of a problem for O’Keefe, who, during his talk, informs the agents that the goal is to “start an information revolution,” not with “pitchforks or guns” but with media. “I think it’s about video. I’m a video guy.”

O’Keefe scored a big Con victory when Piers Morgan wanted to read a petition before signing it. That is an example of the “revolution.” O’Keefe pointed out to the crowd of seniors that he has a hard time traveling. Why? because he is on probation. And that is only for the one thing he was prosecuted for, not the sleazy behavior and serial lying. In the couple of instances where he has found someone not adhering to the letter of the law, they were ethical misconduct issues, not culture wide examples of rampant corruption. If it is hypocrisy he wants to expose, why have we never seen him pull one of gonzo video attacks on one of those red staters who are collecting unemployment insurance, or depend on Medicare or Social Security – my neighbors in other words. I’m not saying my conservative neighbors would smack this sleazeball, but they would tell him where he could put his gotcha video camera. he gets part of his financing from the Koch brothers. Why no gonzo video on all the govmint subsides the Kochs get – oil subsidies, cheap limber from publicly owned forests, police protection for their property, a govmint safety net for their ill or injured employees. And why is O’Keefe deceiving this retired conservatives by painting them a world view that is so distorted by zealotry it barely resembles the world real Americans live in. Honor has proven very disposable in O’Keefe World.

WW II Poster Loose Talk Costs Lives – To stimulate wildly weak and untrained minds is to play with mighty fires

Keep mum Loose talk costs lives. WW II poster, Works Projects Administration Art Project, [between 1941 and 1943]. “Poster suggesting careless communication may be harmful to the war effort, showing a train blowing up.”

I was going to post that great poster anyway, it just happens to be appropriate for the WaPo columnist Jennifer Rubin’s public breakdown. YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN PETARD, RIGHT-WINGERS

This is a full-blown scandal…. The scandal has now enveloped the Oval Office and will define his second term, if not resolved satisfactorily.

I’ll go as far as conceding that the Conservative Book of Blow-up Dolls Version of History will forever contain a chapter in which the Republican history of Benghazi looks nothing like the reality. Even Conservative Republican Nitwit Peter King (R-NY)  Admits CIA Approved U.N. Ambassador’s Talking Points On Libya.

After leaving the closed-door hearing, King spoke with reporters for several minutes about Petraeus’ statements. Rice’s television appearances were among the topics discussed, leading King to indicate that while Petraeus did not personally write Rice’s talking points, the CIA did approve them:

Q: Did he say why it was taken out of the talking points that [the attack] was Al Qaeda affiliated?

KING: He didn’t know.

Q: He didn’t know? What do you mean he didn’t know?

KING: They were not involved — it was done, the process was completed and they said, “Ok go with those talking points.” Again it’s interagency — I got the impression that 7, 8, 9 different agencies.

Q: Did he give you the impression that he was upset it was taken out?

KING: No.

Q: You said the CIA said “OK” to the revised report –

KING: No, well, they said in that, after it goes through the process, they OK’d it to go. Yeah, they said “Okay for it to go.”

Rice has been hit by Republicans for weeks for indicating that the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi stemmed from a spontaneous protest related to an anti-Islamic video. However, as Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) has pointed out, the talking points used by Rice were the same unclassified points given to both the administration and Congress by the intelligence community.

So Rubin the conservative circle of derangement has decided that they’ll keep the “scandal’ going by jumping up and own, feigning outrage and pointing fingers, to hell with any substantive arguments. The Mind-blowing Hypocrisy of John McCain(R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC): WMD Lie is Good, Repeating Intelligence is Bad. If the politics and the repercussions operated the way physics operates, cause and consequences, McCain and Graham would have been forced to find honest work years ago. Though Republican voters, like Republican politicians have a fetish about rewarding failure. Mccain has proven over and over again that shooting first and aiming later is his standard operating procedure. The television networks seem to agree since I cannot turn on the TV without seeing the media get McCain’s must have opinion. he is a stellar example of the hypocrisy of conservatives who think government should operate like the private sector. If someone as consistently and repeatedly as incompetent as Mccain worked for me, yes I would have taken great satisfaction in firing him. Remember when he wanted to declare war on Russia and the conservative punditry backed him up, McCain: Georgia conflict is the ‘first serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War.’

Speaking at the Aspen Institute in Colorado yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that recent Russian aggression in Georgia is the “first…serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War.” McCain seemingly ignored the Gulf War, 9/11, and the Iraq War, to name a few:

My friends, we have reached a crisis, the first probably serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War. This is an act of aggression.

Watch it:

In July, McCain said Iraq was the “first major conflict since 9/11,” leaving out Afghanistan.

McCain famously declared, ‘Today We Are All Georgians‘ . That empty saber rattling did not help Georgia. In the mean time how many economic or other sanctions against Russia has McCain voted for or sponsored. Zero.

President told within 72 hours Benghazi attack linked to al-Qaida extremists

Based on electronic intercepts and human intelligence on the ground, the early briefings after the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya identified possible organizers and participants. Most were believed to be from a local Libyan militia group called Ansar al-Sharia that is sympathetic to al-Qaida, the official said, while a handful of others was linked to a direct al-Qaida affiliate in North Africa known as AQIM.

Those briefings also raised the possibility that the attackers may have been inspired both by spontaneous protests across the globe on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and by a desire to seek vengeance for the U.S. killing last summer of a Libyan-born leader of al-Qaida named Abu Yaya al-Libi, the officials said, speaking only on condition of anonymity because they were discussing intelligence matters.

The details from the CIA and Pentagon assessments of the killing of Ambassador Chris Stephens were far more specific, more detailed and more current than the unclassified talking points that UN Ambassador Susan Rice and other officials used five days after the attack to suggest to Americans that an unruly mob angry over an anti-Islamic video was to blame, officials said.

Most of the details affirming al-Qaida links were edited or excluded from the unclassified talking points used by Rice in appearances on news programs the weekend after the attack, officials confirmed Friday. Multiple agencies were involved in excising information, doing so because it revealed sources and methods, dealt with classified intercepts or involved information that was not yet fully confirmed, the officials said.

“There were multiple agencies involved, not for political reasons, but because of intelligence concerns,” one official explained.

So just like they thought nothing of revealing the identity of a CIA NOC agent who specialized in WMDs, conservatives think it is right to expose overseas intelligence to terrorists. Maybe we should have an full on 9-11 like hearing and call up some conservative pundits to testify.

Boardwalk and fishing pier, Asbury Park, N.J. Published: between 1900 and 1906. Difficult to see in the small pic, but apparently the pier was integrated at the time.

This is a bend over backwards attempt to be fair, Who’s to Blame for the Hostess Bankruptcy: Wall Street, Unions, or Carbs? It does mention that Hostess did not have the brightest executive management in the world. Who were determined to milk the company for as much as they could regardless of how it affected the company’s chances of surviving. Hostess Blames Union For Bankruptcy After Tripling CEO’s Pay. We live in an economy and culture where failure is rewarded with 300% raises.

African American men and boys, three-quarter length portrait, dressed for church, 1899 or 1900. The photographer is unknown, but this photo among hundreds of others became part of W. E. B.  Du Bois (February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963. The African-American sociologist, historian and civil rights activist) collection. “To stimulate wildly weak and untrained minds is to play with mighty fires.” W. E. B. Du Bois

Why do conservative Republicans hate the USA, American Family Association’s Fischer says 9/11 terrorists were ‘agents of God’s wrath’

The religious far-right, ladies and gentlemen. Or as we call them, the American Taliban:

As he traditionally does at the beginning of every radio program, Bryan Fischer dedicated the opening segment yesterday to a reading and discussion from the Bible. In this case, he was reading from Isaiah 10 in which the prophet explains that God had sent the Assyrians to invade Israel as judgment, which prompted Fischer to declare that the same  thing happened to America as “the jihadists on 9/11 were the agents of God’s wrath in order to get our attention as a people.”

I’m trying to imagine the reaction if any non-far-right figure suggested the 9/11 attackers were just doing God’s work. Think they’d be burnt at the stake?

Fischer and so many other conservatives seem to have a special pipeline to hearing God’s literal voice. I wonder if they started recording those conversations, the voices we hear wouldn’t sound just like the person making these horrendously self serving and sacrilegious statements.

I’m have not been a feckless cheerleader about it, but I have told people who have asked that the best way to get ahead is to get as much education as possible ( formal education, training, other learning opportunities) and work hard. Knowing that while that advice will not steer people wrong, it has increasing become a false promise, Walmart’s Internal Compensation Documents Reveal Systematic Limit On Advancement

Two years ago, when she started working at the deli counter of a Walmart in Illinois, Lisa hoped that her job would amount to the beginning of a career, one that would pay enough to cover her bills and enable her to stay current on her student loan debt.

But despite one raise since, Lisa, who asked that only her first name be used, now earns just $9.10 an hour, or about $13,000 a year on part-time hours. Seven months pregnant, she recently filed for bankruptcy. With no alternatives at hand, Walmart now seems like a dead-end to poverty, she says.

“I don’t have underwear without holes in them,” she said. “Everyone at work wears T-shirts that are threadbare. I have just enough to eat and get gas to make it to work for the next two weeks.”

Lisa’s experience sheds light on why a group claiming to represent tens of thousands of Walmart workers nationwide is planning strikes and other labor actions at as many as 1,000 stores next week on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. The actions are intended to protest what the group says are meager wages.

The company website declares that “a job at Walmart opens the door to a better life” and “the chance to grow and build a career.” But interviews with 31 hourly workers and one former store manager reveal lives beset by paychecks too small to handle the bills, difficult to manage part-time schedules with hours subject to constant change, and little reason to hope for career advancement. Citing fear of losing their jobs, most spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The employees and many of their customers who are not making great wages are what makes Wal-Mart such a wealthy corporations. yet they too suffer from a severe disconnect with the context in which they accumulate that wealth, Walmart Heirs Have As Much Wealth As Bottom 40 Percent Of Americans Combined. Another way to look at it is that the Waltons pay themselves more there the combined salaries of all their employees.

Farm Twilight wallpaper – ONE OF the difficulties, as I see it, is that we worship money instead of honor

Farm Twilight wallpaper

 

The fake scandals and conspiracy theories dreamed up by conservatives have always been vapid at best. From the beginning the faux outrage, the shrill cries of wrong doing concerning Benghazi have been entirely based on juvenile nitpicking and finger-pointing while pearl clutching. The first ‘scandal’ was that president Obama and the administration did not say the word terrorist fast enough. That sounds like I’m being facetious, but that was is still is large part of the feigned outrage. President Obama called the attack an act of terror. Yet once again the president failed to call the loony language police to check his speech first (Michele Malkin, Jim Hoft, Fox’s resident racist Eric Bolling – all the people who lied to the USA about 9-11, Iraq, WMD,  al Qaeda connection, the Housing Bubble, Fannie May, birth certificates and so on ). I am not aware of a left of center major blogger or politician who not only lies , but actually lives their lies day in and day out in  an echo chamber of mendacity.  Benghazi is part of an ongoing, sure to be endless campaign to try and hang some scandal around the neck of an administration that has been remarkably scandal free. Republicans talk a lot about values, Democrats actually have them and it infuriates Conservatives to no end, What Benghazi Is about: Scandal Envy – Republicans are livid that Obama hasn’t had his major scandal yet.

The real scandal is that Susan Rice went on television soon after and amid all kinds of “based on the best information we have”s and “we’ll have to see”s, said one thing that turned out not to be the case: that after the protests in Cairo, there was some kind of copycat protest in Benghazi, which was then “hijacked” by extremist elements using heavy weapons to stage an attack.

A sane person might say, OK, she was obviously given some incorrect information at that time, but it’s not a particularly meaningful deception. As people have been pointing out for weeks now, it’s not as though not using the word “terror” or saying there was a protest before the attack gave the White House some enormous political advantage. If you’re going to have a cover-up, there has to be something you’re covering up.

But now, some Republicans, particularly John McCain and Lindsay Graham, are essentially saying that this horrifying cover-up was quite possibly the greatest crime in the history of the United States government, and if we’re going to get to the bottom of it nothing short of a select committee—a “Watergate-style committee,” as it is being referred to by reporters—will do. Who knows what it might uncover? Were there CIA whistleblowers whose bodies are now lying at the bottom of the Potomac? Was David Petraeus being blackmailed? Are William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright involved? Did Susan Rice fly to Tripoli, have a steamy liaison with a clone of Ayman al-Zawahiri created in a secret underground laboratory, then go to Benghazi where she personally killed Ambassador Chris Stevens with a hat pin? We won’t know unless we spin this out into a multi-week story!

One thing that Waldman left out was that the administration very likely checked with the CIA and knew that some of the personnel involved were CIA. Not saying anything about that has in 20/20 hindsight probably hurt the White House in terms of later revelations, but it was the right thing to do in terms of national security at the time. It was a no win situation for a Democrat. Regardless of how they told the public the Right was going to spin the story. The Mind-blowing Hypocrisy of John McCain(R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC): WMD Lie is Good, Repeating Intelligence is Bad

Hypocrisy alert: John McCain supported Condoleeza Rice who misled the public on WMD, causing thousands to die, but now attacks Susan Rice.

Remember when Condoleezza Rice misled the public about Iraq’s WMDs and over 4,000 Americans died? John McCain doesn’t seem to. McCain is trying to sell the idea that Susan Rice appearing on TV to tell the American people what the intelligence community had ascertained about Libya on September 18 was wrong. She should have chosen not to speak on the subject without more certainty, he and Lindsay Graham claim.

Yet, Susan Rice’s statement made it clear that things were not certain. Here, once again, is her statement to the media on September 18 (emphasis mine):

RICE: Well, first of all, Chris, we are obviously investigating this very closely. The FBI has a lead in this investigation. The information, the best information and the best assessment we have today is that in fact this was not a preplanned, premeditated attack… Obviously, we will wait for the results of the investigation and we don’t want to jump to conclusions before then. But I do think it’s important for the American people to know our best current assessment.

Even if no one else in the Bush-Cheney administration had not been endless sources of disinformation, Condi Rice alone was a virtual lie factory. Excepting liberal concerns about drone strikes against terrorists that might be killing civilians, President Obama has a stellar national security record compared to Bush and when Bush was president conservatives scolded us for supposedly politicizing national security, Under Bush, Hannity Denounced “Politicizing” National Security. With Benghazi, Hannity Can’t Stop. To have values, values worth having anyway, one has to have some consistent standards. Republicans only have one consistent standard, malevolence. Fox News, a subsidiary of a multi-national foreign-owned corporation, keeps moving the time-line of events around to spin things in the worse light. This just came in from CNN and of course the Conservative Noise Bubble is claiming vindication, leaving out some details. Ex-CIA chief Petraeus testifies Benghazi attack was al Qaeda-linked terrorism

Earlier, close observers said they thought Petraeus would tell lawmakers that the CIA knew soon after the attack that Ansar al Sharia was responsible, according to an official with knowledge of the case. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject matter.

Ansar al Sharia is more of a label than an organization, one that’s been adopted by conservative Salafist groups across the Arab world.

Related: What is Ansar al Sharia?

It’s unclear to media whether Petraeus spoke specifically about Ansar al Sharia.

After the hearing, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Maryland, blamed confusion over two seemingly different versions of the consulate violence — was it caused by a protest or by terrorists?

He said there were essentially two threads of violence: one caused by the protest, which was chaotic, and a second that was orchestrated by terrorists, which was highly coordinated.

There were “two different types of situations at play,” Ruppersberger said, explaining that in the hours and days after the attack, it was naturally difficult to clearly discern what happened.

Intelligence evolves, he said, and new information comes out when agents obtain it. He downplayed the idea that there was something untoward going on.

Petraeus: I did not pass on classified information

The former CIA chief has said there was a stream of intelligence from multiple sources, including video at the scene, that indicated the group was behind the attack, according to an official with knowledge of the situation.

Meanwhile, separate intelligence indicated the violence at the consulate was inspired by protests in Egypt over an ostensibly anti-Islam film that was privately produced in the United States. The movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” portrayed the Prophet Mohammed as a womanizing buffoon.

There were 20 intelligence reports that indicated that anger about the film may be to blame, the official said.

The CIA eventually disproved those reports, but not before Petraeus’ initial briefing to Congress the day after the attack when he discussed who might be behind the attack and what prompted it. During that briefing, he raised Ansar al Sharia’s possible connection as well as outrage about the film, the official said.

Earlier an official said that Petraeus’ aim in testifying was to clear up “a lot of misrepresentations of what he told Congress initially.”

President Obama almost immediately, though not two seconds after it happened, called the attacks an “act of terror.” Which is probably what everyone thought on first hearing the news. When a temporary embassy compound is attacked and people killed that is a pretty obvious conclusion. The details of who and why were not sorted out until later, there being a total of “20 intelligence reports.”

Jerome Corsi’s final straw

Back in April, after ABC News quoted Jerome Corsi as an authority in an article on so-called “birth tourism,” Media Matters’ Todd Gregory pointed out how low ABC had sunk:

Jerome Corsi is the guy who co-wrote Unfit for Command, a book so infamously inaccurate that it helped spawn the term “swiftboating” as a description of a political smear campaign.

That alone should tell you everything you need to know about Corsi, but there are so many other reasons he’s not a credible figure. There’s the birtherism. The appearance on a “pro-White” radio show. The bigoted comments on Free Republic. The promotion of laughable conspiracy theories about global government and the “North American Union.” The failed Obama smear book.

What has Corsi done since? Well, there’s this:

Yeah, that’s Corsi at the WorldNetDaily Convention last weekend, saying President Obama has engaged in “identity theft” because he has “stolen the identity of a natural born citizen” by “using someone else’s Social Security number.”

He also called for Obama to “renounce Lucifer.” Seriously.

It is tempting to dismiss Corsi as juts another wacko. The problem with calling far-right zealots like Corsi crazy is that it relieves them of some responsibility for what they say. Corsi is not your crazy uncle – at least I hope he’s not. He is a calculating malicious liar. He seems to relish his role as a kind of false prophet of the Right. He believes that he and the other true believers in the cult of conservatism are dispensing the one and only truth, even though there are no facts to make his case. Facts themselves are the enemy. They interfere with the righteousness of the cause. If honor, truth and virtue have to be beaten senseless and left in a ditch, than so be it. Just think General Petraeus, who conservatives had considered a presidential hopeful not only worked for a president who embraced Lucifer and is guilty of the single biggest case of identity theft in history, but the general’s wife still does.

Defending the Right to Treat Your Employees Like Dirt

Getting tired of eating at Chick-Fil-A every day to express your hatred of liberals? Well, now you have a couple more options. You can chow down at Applebee’s, where the CEO of their New York franchises went on TV to declare that he won’t be doing more hiring because of the costs Obamacare would impose. Or you can head over to Papa John’s, whose CEO, John Schnatter, has said that Obamacare could add as much as—brace yourself—10 cents to the cost of a pizza, and since obviously customers would never tolerate such price gouging, he’ll just have to cut back employees’ hours.

[   ]….And there’s something else to keep in mind: Nearly all companies with over 50 employees already offer health coverage to their employees, even though this provision of Obamacare doesn’t take effect until January 2014. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 98 percent of companies with over 200 employees offer coverage, as do 94 percent of companies with between 50 and 199 employees. That means when you see some CEO come out and decry the costs of Obamacare, the person you’re looking at is one of the jerks, the guy who treats his employees like crap and is angry that the law is going to force him to be a little more humane.

Depending on the day I’m not sure conservatives have won the argument in terms of getting everyone to look at business the way Papa John’s does. Though there is definitely pressure not to question such business attitudes. It is scandalous in some quarters to wonder how ethical these business models are that do not provide employees health insurance. This is a good related essay about people who think like John Schnatter and the CEO of Applebees new York, from 1937, Essay by Then Senator Harry Truman

“ONE OF the difficulties, as I see it, is that we worship money instead of honor. A billionaire, in our estimation, is much greater in these days in the eyes of the people than the public servant who works for public interest. It makes no difference if the billionaire rode to wealth on the sweat of little children and the blood of underpaid labor. No one ever considered Carnegie libraries steeped in the blood of the Homestead steelworkers, but they are.

We do not remember that the Rockefeller Foundation is founded on the dead miners of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company and a dozen other similar performances. We worship Mammon; . . .

It is a pity that Wall Street, with its ability to control all the wealth of the nation and to hire the best law brains in the country, has not produced some financial statesmen, some men who could see the dangers of bigness and of the concentration of the control of wealth. Instead of working to meet the situation, they are still employing the best law brains to serve greed and selfish interest. People can stand only so much, and one of these days there will be a settlement. We shall have one receivership too many, and one unnecessary depression out of which we will not come with the power still in the same old hands. . . . (emphasis mine)

Conservatives Are Still Trying To Exploit Death To Score Political Points

Green Gold Foliage wallpaper

 

Conservatives always have the advantage in any story where there are missing details. Waiting for evidence, waiting for facts, waiting for further investigation is no hurdle for the radical Right. They’re all too happy to fill in any gaps of knowledge with their speculation, accusations that they just know are true because they feel they are true. I wish on these ethically challenged zealots a jury of people with similar mindsets should they ever find themselves facing a criminal trial. It would be more The Oxbow Incident than trial. Panetta Says Risk Impeded Deployment to Benghazi

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Thursday that he and top military commanders “felt very strongly” that deploying American forces to defend against the fatal attack last month on the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, was too risky because they did not have a clear picture of what was happening on the ground.

“There’s a lot of Monday-morning quarterbacking going on here,” Mr. Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon, adding that “the basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on, without having some real-time information about what’s taking place.”

As a result, Mr. Panetta said, he and two top commanders “felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.” The commanders are Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Carter F. Ham of Africa Command, which oversees American military operations in Africa, including Libya.

We do know that Bush and Cheney did some micromanaging of troop activity – to the detriment of the American military and innocent Iraqis. While that can happen most day to day decisions about where to deploy regular troops or special forces is done by people like Gen. Carter F. Ham or the CIA. The Benghazi attack took place about 4 PM and lasted for about 2 hours. Not a lot of time to deploy much of a response. Every far Right conservative site seems to be covering this. Much of what has been written is incoherent garbage – with the commenters  foaming at the mouth with crazy accusations and claims of knowledge that defy any attempt to make sense of. This is from The Weekly Standard, generally thought of as one of conservatism’s intellectual flagships, written by editor and publisher William Kristol, Petraeus Throws Obama Under the Bus

Breaking news on Benghazi: the CIA spokesman, presumably at the direction of CIA director David Petraeus, has put out this statement: “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. ”
Barack Obama

So who in the government did tell “anybody” not to help those in need? Someone decided not to send in military assets to help those Agency operators. Would the secretary of defense make such a decision on his own? No.

It would have been a presidential decision. There was presumably a rationale for such a decision. What was it? When and why—and based on whose counsel obtained in what meetings or conversations—did President Obama decide against sending in military assets to help the Americans in need?

“presumably”? That links leads to a tweet by Jake Trapper at ABC and it is a blind quote from an unidentified spokesperson. Super reliable. Based on that start building the lynching platform. No it would not have automatically been an executive level only decision. Military commanders in the field have some leeway to respond to terrorism committed against Americans. By the time anyone could pin down exactly what was going on, American security personnel on site and Libyan security had already re-secured the compound. That is where the block buster Libya embassy e-mails were supposed to blow this story wide open, only they fizzled, The Shocking, World-Changing New Libya Emails

The next bend in the Libya story—sorry, Libya scandal—began last night, when CBS News and other organizations scooped a series of emails from the State Department on Sept. 11. At 4:05 p.m., State emails that the Benghazi consulate is “under attack.” At 4:54, the “firing has stopped.” At 6:07 p.m., “Ansar al-Sharia [has claimed] responsibility” for the attack.

Allahpundit explains why this is should be so disturbing.

The White House had plenty of reason to suspect more was going on than a protest that got out of hand, even from the very beginning. But that would meddle with one of O’s strongest reelection narratives, i.e. the president who demolished Al Qaeda (read this for a stark illustration of how certain key supporters are helping him out with that), so we didn’t hear about it until Eli Lake and CNN and Reuters all but dragged it out of him.

One problem. In the same story that breaks the news and gives readers the emails, CBS News prints an unaired answer that Obama gave Steve Kroft on Sept. 12. It was his first interview after the attacks.

You’re right that this is not a situation that was—exactly the same as what happened in Egypt and my suspicion is that there are folks involved in this who were looking to target Americans from the start.

The next day, Obama was in Colorado, where he addressed the killings in Libya.

A couple of days ago, for four Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Libya. … So what I want all of you to know is that we are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice. I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished.

Obama didn’t pretend that this was merely “a protest that got out of hand.” The trouble, when we look back at the timeline, is that reporters didn’t really glom onto the Libya story for a few days. When they did, by the Sunday shows and Sept. 19, you had administration representatives soft-peddling the “target Americans from the start” story.

Before that, though, if you followed the story, you knew that Ansar al-Sharia took credit for the attacks and that Obama was calling them “acts of terror.” This is the oddity of the story we now call “Benghazigate.” One “scandal,” that Obama pretended the attacks were only spontaneous results of a protest, is baseless. The next scandal, that the administration didn’t beef up security in Benghazi, is just harder to pin on a villain. So we hear more about the “shifting timeline,” even though the president had implied that the attacks were terrorism four times in the 48 hours afterward.

This is a tough situation. A father of one of the SEALs who died believes and has helped fuel some of the growing urban myths about Benghazi, Libya. It is obviously devastating to lose a child to a violent death. As much as we all sympathize, that does not mean that feelings should cloud the facts,

Woods also repeated a version of events that the White House says is not accurate, that “the White House Situation Room was watching our people die in real time, as this was happening.”

White House officials say there was no video stream available. So what kind of real-time information was coming in? State Department official Charlene Lamb testified before Congress that officials in the consulate “were making multiple phone calls and it was very important that they communicate with the annex in Tripoli because this is where additional resources were coming from. So they would hang up on us and then call back.” A Defense Department official confirms that there an unarmed ISR (“intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance”) drone overhead over part of the assault in Benghazi.

Woods also said, “apparently even the State Department had a live stream and was aware of their calls for help. My son wasn’t even there. He was at a safe house about a mile away. He got the distress call; he heard them crying for help; that’s why he and Glen risked their lives to go that extra mile just to take care of the situation. And I’m sure that wasn’t the only one received that distress call—you know, ‘Come save our lives.’”

There was no live fed to the White House. That drone is also part of the Right’s argument – that it was armed and could have been used to help, but Obama personally choose not to use it. That same ABC story quotes a Fox News “reporter” that said her sources on the ground ( again anonymous)” told her “that three urgent requests from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. Consulate and subsequent attack nearly seven hours later were denied by officials in the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators to ‘stand down’ rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.” If that were true it would have been help after the attacks and subsequent deaths, and after the compound has already been secured. ” Late Friday afternoon, CIA spokesperson Jennifer Youngblood “no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate. ” )

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said there are reviews under way and it wasn’t helpful to provide “partial answers.”  However, he did say he was confident that  ”our forces were alert and responsive to what was a very fluid situation.”

The rapid conspiracy theorists have to find a way to tell their version of events and leave out the Department of Defense, the chain of command and the CIA. Additionally these partisans have to explain how things would have been different or the response would have been different if they were in the White House. Would they have been where the buck stops with no accountability on the DoD or CIA. They can talk tough, but where is the substance. 9NEWS questions President Obama on Libya attack

KYLE CLARK: Were the Americans under attack at the consulate in Benghazi Libya denied requests for help during that attack? And is it fair to tell Americans that what happened is under investigation and we’ll all find out after the election?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, the election has nothing to do with four brave Americans getting killed and us wanting to find out exactly what happened. These are folks who served under me who I had sent to some very dangerous places. Nobody wants to find out more what happened than I do. But we want to make sure we get it right, particularly because I have made a commitment to the families impacted as well as to the American people, we’re going to bring those folks to justice. So, we’re going to gather all the facts, find out exactly what happened, and make sure that it doesn’t happen again but we’re also going to make sure that we bring to justice those who carried out these attacks.

KYLE CLARK: Were they denied requests for help during the attack?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, we are finding out exactly what happened. I can tell you, as I’ve said over the last couple of months since this happened, the minute I found out what was happening, I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to. Number two, we’re going to investigate exactly what happened so that it doesn’t happen again. Number three, find out who did this so we can bring them to justice. And I guarantee you that everyone in the state department, our military, the CIA, you name it, had number one priority making sure that people were safe. These were our folks and we’re going to find out exactly what happened, but what we’re also going to do it make sure that we are identifying those who carried out these terrible attacks.

I linked above to one story that is now a conveniently forgotten shame of the conservative idea of how to carry out national security – Bush’s Bloody Flip-Flop. It is also important to remember two recent scandals that the Right tried to exploit for poltical points. They tried to make Solyndra a big scandal and spent millions to find nothing, Five Things You Should Know About Solyndra During The 2012 Campaign. They went on and on about Fast and Furious to bring down Attorney General Holder. The Inspector General found no link between Holder or the White House with Fast and Furious. Just as President Obama said there is an ongoing investigation and more facts are probably going to come out. That doesn’t mean that everyone the Right points a finger at is guilty until they decide otherwise.

And two helpful links. Much of the conservative noise doesn’t work if you know the timeline and who said what and when they said it, Fox News Rewrites Obama Timeline On Libya Terrorism Comments

What Everyone Should Know About The Benghazi Attack

First Signs of Autumn wallpaper – How Dare America Question Romney’s Version of Reality

First Signs of Autumn wallpaper

Conservatives are very upset today. They upset because Candy Crowley had the unmitigated gall to fact check during the debate and not let Mitt Romney get away with with his latest favorite lie. Transcript Truthers: Conservatives Deny Obama Called Libya Attack An “Act Of Terror”

During tonight’s presidential debate, moderator Candy Crowley corrected Mitt Romney’s false claim that President Obama did not refer to the September 11 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya as an act of terrorism the day after the attack.

Crowley was right, and Romney was wrong: In his September 12 remarks, the president said: “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.” Despite this, conservatives in the media are insisting that Obama never said that.

(Twitter captures at link)

Both Malkin and Hoft linked to a September 30 Commentary blog post by Alana Goodman arguing that “at no point” in Obama’s remarks responding to the Benghazi attack “was it clear that he was using that term to describe the attack in Benghazi.” Instead, argued Goodman, the line might have been “just a generic, reassuring line he’d added into a speech which did take place, after all, the day after the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.” Even though Obama mentioned the four Americans killed in Benghazi in the very next line.

That makes little sense and is a reed far to thin to stand on. But it’s good enough for Fox News and the conservative blogosphere.

Update:

Predictably, Fox News is echoing the misleading defense of Romney. During an interview with Romney surrogate John Sununu, Sean Hannity falsely claimed that when Obama referenced “acts of terror,” he was “talking about September 11, 2001. He doesn’t talk about Benghazi being an act of terror.” Hannity then immediately aired video contradicting his supposed “fact check” of Obama:

Fox News host Bret Baier also tried to discredit the fact that Obama referred to the Benghazi attack as an act of terror. During Fox’s coverage of the debate, Baier claimed that Obama wasn’t “specifically speaking about Benghazi” when he referred to the attack as an act of terror — that he was speaking “generically.”

Baier also faulted Obama for repeatedly referring to an anti-Islam video as a possible catalyst for the attack and for stressing that an investigation was ongoing.

UPDATE 2: Obama also referred to the Benghazi attack as an “act of terror” while campaigning in Colorado on September 13:

Let me say at the outset that obviously our hearts are heavy this week — we had a tough day a couple of days ago, for four Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Libya.  Yesterday I had a chance to go over to the State Department to talk to friends and colleagues of those who were killed.  And these were Americans who, like so many others, both in uniform and civilians, who serve in difficult and dangerous places all around the world to advance the interests and the values that we hold dear as Americans.

And a lot of times their work goes unheralded, doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it is vitally important.  We enjoy our security and our liberty because of the sacrifices that they make.  And they do an outstanding job every single day without a lot of fanfare.  (Applause.)

So what I want all of you to know is that we are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice.  (Applause.)  I want people around the world to hear me:  To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished. It will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world.  No act of violence shakes the resolve of the United States of America.  (Applause.)

We’ll dealing with conservative reading and listening comprehension disease. Sufferers also tend to have the dreaded exploitation of death for the cause of conservatism at the expense of American ideals, like honor and integrity. If one of these poor creatures should began a illiterate zealot seizure in your presence call you local mental health hot line. It’s odd how conservatives consign blame. On first look it might seem that there is nothing logical or systematic about their thought processes, but there is a method to the idiocy. Bush was not to blame for 9-11. Conservatives are not to blame for losing Bin laden at Tora Bora. Conservatives are not to blame for sending Americans off to die in a ridiculous and immoral war in Iraq. Conservatives are not to blame for the record number of terrorist attacks that occurred under Bush. President Obama is somehow directly responsible for one terrorist attack. President Obama does not deserve any of the credit for killing Bin laden, toppling  Moammar Gaddafi or the dozens of other terrorists during his presidency. The Conservative Accountability and hate Candy Crowley Club should be thank full Crowley did not bring up the video at this link, Romney Warned Against Pointing Fingers At Bush Administration After 9/11 Attacks

During a 2004 National Press Club luncheon, Romney was asked to address the 9/11 Commission’s finding of serious intelligence failures on the part of the US government in the run-up to the attacks. He responded that it is easy, but ultimately not particularly helpful, to blame different parts of the government for the attack:

It’s very easy, it is extraordinarily easy to point fingers and say, ‘Why, this part of government knew this and it didn’t tell that part.’ And, ‘These people here haven’t learned that.’ Well, the reason those barriers exist is for legitimate purpose in a world that was pre-September 11th. And judging our intelligence by post- September 11th conditions is something we have to do carefully. We do that to help us get better, and to the extent we find criticism in the kind of work that I’ve had to do and others are doing, it should be focused on how we can make ourselves more effective in the post-9/11 world. But trying to judge what happened pre-9/11 by post-9/11 knowledge is probably not terribly fruitful.

Watch it:

Romney’s approach was consistent with then-President Bush’s, who when asked whether he should apologize for his administration’s failure to prevent 9/11, said simply “The person responsible for the attacks was Osama bin Laden.” Former National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice told the 9/11 Commission something similar, saying “I know that there was no single thing that might have prevented that attack…I believe that the absence of light, so to speak, on what was going on inside the country, the inability to connect the dots, was really structural.”

In the case of Bush and Rice we know that they were warned of an imminent attack in the infamous PDB. They also knew that they were shoving a pack of lies down America’s throat when it knew that Iraq had no WMD, no connection to 9-11 and no connections to Bin Laden. Let’s say the conservative movement ran on the honor system of an old 18th century boys boarding school. A few million conservatives should be flogging themselves right now. In order to be the party of values one has to have some foundation of accountability and fidelity to the truth.

And another jaw dropping trait of conservatism: they like to have everything both ways. President Obama cannot act fast enough to kill terrorists, but if he does he will be doing so for purely partisan political reasons, Fox & Friends Pushes Theory That Obama May Order Strike In Libya To Gain Advantage In Upcoming Debate . If Obama does not take action according to the conservative stop watch, he loses. If Obama takes action, he loses. Reason 76 not to be a conservative: think of the headaches trying to keep track of the inherent contradictions of everything you stand for.

I’ve called the world of conservatism Bizarro World. The lies, the creation of a reality that bares no resemblance to the real world, the nonexistent lines conservatives draw ( 9-11 happened because of the women’s rights movements, 9-11 happened because America lost its faith in God). The unrelenting fabrication of causes and effects in the economy. The never ending their blame shifting ( somehow Fannie May caused the recession, not Wall Street) and the proto-facist eliminationism, all are facets of BizarroWorld. Mitt Romney is certainly no exception. Romney Told 31 Myths In 41 Minutes. Much like conservative hate pundits on AM radio, Fox News, The Washington Free Beacon, multiple websites, politicians like Chris Christie(R-NJ) and Paul Ryan(R-WI); the propaganda is propelled, as it was in last night’s debate with supreme arrogance. Their attitude, which is part of the reaction to Crowley’s fact check, is how dare anyone questions our fun house mirror version of reality. They make up what is real and what is not dammit and they will truck no dissent from the reality they are supremely entitled to invent. I’m Mitt Dammit Romney, when I claim something is true, that makes it true.

Mitt Romney’s binders full of women just don’t stack up

In the second presidential debate, women’s issues finally came up. And Mitt Romney had an opportunity to show female voters he cared. But from his bullying of moderator Candy Crowley to his dismissive description of his hiring practices, he fumbled the chance. “Binders full of women,” his badly chosen phrase became the meme of the night and will likely haunt him past Halloween. Here’s a deconstruction of what he had to say about women.

An important topic, and one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as governor of my state, because I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men.

Seemed to be? Implausible from the start, they either were or they weren’t.

And I – and I went to my staff, and I said, “How come all the people for these jobs are – are all men.” They said: “Well, these are the people that have the qualifications.”

This is hard to believe. Romney was talking about 2003 – not 1893. Plenty of women would have been properly qualified.

And I said: “Well, gosh, can’t we – can’t we find some – some women that are also qualified?”

Patronizing.

And – and so we – we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said: “Can you help us find folks,” and they brought us whole binders full of women.

ZING! There was the shot through his foot. “Binders full of women” became #bindersfullofwomen on Twitter, a Tumblr page and a Facebook page which within half an hour had over 20,000 likes. By the end of the debate that had risen to almost 70,000. Why did the phrase resonate? Because it was tone deaf, condescending and out of touch with the actual economic issues that women are so bothered about. The phrase objectified and dehumanized women. It played right into the perception that so many women have feared about a Romney administration – that a president Romney would be sexist and set women back

That Tumblr page is funny. Someone on Twitter said it went up within hours of the debate. They did a terrific job.

President Obama Closing Statement

Lithograph of Great Lakes and Chicago – On Every Measure Democrats Beat Republicans on National Security

Lithograph of Great Lakes and LaSalle Str Chicago, Illinois. Around mid 1800s to 1872.

Buffalo & Chicago steam packet empire state: M. Hazard, Commander. [Currier & Ives between 1835 and 1856]. In the Chicago-Great lakes poster above, about center, is a picture of a “side wheeler”.

Intelligence office says it got Libya attack wrong, not White House

Extremists from groups linked to al Qaida struck the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in a “deliberate and organized terrorist attack,” the top U.S. intelligence agency said Friday, as it took responsibility for the Obama administration’s initial claims that the deadly assault grew from a spontaneous protest against an anti-Islam video.

The unusual statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence appeared to have two goals: updating the public on the latest findings of the investigation into the assault, and shielding the White House from a political backlash over its original accounts.

“In the immediate aftermath (of the assault), there was information that led us to assess that the attack began spontaneously following protests earlier that day at our embassy in Cairo,” spokesman Sean Turner said in the statement. “We provided that initial assessment to executive branch officials and members of Congress, who used that information to discuss the attack publicly.”

[  ]…In his statement, Turner said that U.S. intelligence agencies’ understanding of what happened in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, has evolved as they’ve collected and analyzed information on the incident. “As we learned more about the attack, we revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists,” he said.

“It remains unclear if any group or person exercised overall command and control of the attack, and if extremist group leaders directed their members to participate,” he said. “However, we do assess that some of those involved were linked to groups affiliated with, or sympathetic to, al Qaida.”

Turner didn’t name a specific group. Other U.S. officials have said that they were focusing on the possible involvement of the North African affiliate of the terrorist network, al Qaida in the Maghreb, known as AQIM, and local Islamic militant groups.

The statement did not quiet the political backlash.

Shortly after it was issued, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., called for the resignation of Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who was the first senior official to detail the administration’s initial account that the attack was spontaneous during appearances on Sunday morning television talk shows.

King (R-NY) has a very relativistic moral compass when it comes to terrorism. King supports actual terrorism sometimes. His wishy washy moral bearings are typical of Republicans. If the AQIM attacks has occurred on Bush’s watch he and other conservatives would be claiming that just means they have that terrorists right where they want them, that by criticizing the president in a time of war they are being unpatriotic and undermining the war on terror, the criticism by conservative bloggers and politicians is telling the enemy that the U.S. is weak and will “cut and run”. As events and intelligence gathering evolve about any violent event, the facts frequently change. That conservatives would try to twist and exploit the news facts as they emerge is typical of the fetid morality of the conservative movement. They have never displayed much in the way of genuine concern or appropriate reactions to anything bad that happens within ten feet of a Democrat, one should not expect them to rise above it all and act like patriots intend of fevered nationalists out for blood.

What do the attacks on the Libyan Embassy compound mean. Conservatives are being comically absurd in their quest to shape the meaning. They claim this makes Obama weak on terrorism. This is from the same people who brought us the bloody war on terror. In which the deaths of Americans and innocent men, women and children reached historic heights from 2001 to 2008. Unless you listen to Glenn Greenwald who thinks Obama is  worse than Bush on inflicting civilian causalities (Glenn means well, but that is one of his weakest cases). Terrorist Attacks and Presidents

Terror attacks count by president

Terror fatalities by president

It is pretty clear that if one is willing to put partisan blindness aside – an impossible task for Republicans – Democrats hold a clear advantage on keeping Americans and innocent foreigners safe.

BUSH
(Not including Iraq and Aghanistan attacks, and abortion attacks)
1) September 11 (Domestic Islamic) – 2,992 fatalities
2) Karachi (Overseas Islamic) – 12 fatalities
3) Riyadh (Overseas Islamic) – 34 fatalities
4) Riyadh #2 (Overseas Islamic) – 22 fatalities
5) Riyadh #3 (Overseas Islamic) – 4 fatalities
6) Jeddah (Overseas Islamic) – 4 fatalities
7) Amman (Overseas Islamic) – 57 fatalities
8) Damascus (Overseas Islamic) – No fatalities
9) Athens (Overseas Islamic) – No fatalities
10) Algeria (Overseas Islamic) – 60 fatalities
11) LAX Shooting (Domestic Islamic) – 2 fatalities
12) Beltway Snipers (Domestic Islamic) – 10 fatalities
13) Anthrax (Domestic?) – 5 fatalities
14) Madrid (Overseas Islamic Allies) – 191 fatalities
15) London (Overseas Islamic Allies) – 56 fatalities
16) Chapel Hill SUV attack (Domestic Islamic) – No fatalities
17) Yemen (Overseas Islamic) – 16 fatalities
18) Mumbai, India (Overseas Islamic) – 190 fatalities

Bush did manipulate the country into Iraq, with some help from some Democrats and the media. So Bush and the conservative pundit warriors take take blame for these fatalities as well: 5,921 US military dead. 31,844 wounded in action, of which 13,954 were unable to return to duty within 72 hours. A conservative estimate of civilian Iraqi deaths is between 108,000 and 119,000. And let us remember the that Bush and Cheney were the great masterminds of terrorist fighting even if Bush did say,  “I don’t think you can win [the war on terror].” Mr. weak on terrorism, President Obama, certainly with the help of the Pentagon and CIA did kill Bin Laden, where as Bush Inc. lost Bin laden at Tora Bora. One of the reasons the CIA was able to relentlessly persue every Bin Laden lead during the Obama administration, is that the Obama White House resurrected the CIA’s Bin laden unit that Bush disbanded, July 4, 2006 – C.I.A. Closes Unit Focused on Capture of bin Laden.

President Obama and the team of intelligence experts he has put in place have done a remarkable job of tracking down and killing terrorists. The Terrorist Notches on Obama’s Belt

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader Anwar al-Awlaki as of today.

Earlier this month officials confirmed that al Qaeda’s chief of Pakistan operations, Abu Hafs al-Shahri, was killed in Waziristan, Pakistan.

In August, ‘Atiyah ‘Abd al-Rahman,  the deputy leader of al Qaeda was killed.

In June, one of the group’s most dangerous commanders, Ilyas Kashmiri,  was killed in Pakistan. In Yemen that same month, AQAP senior operatives Ammar al-Wa’ili, Abu Ali al-Harithi, and Ali Saleh Farhan were killed. In Somalia, Al-Qa’ida in East Africa (AQEA) senior leader Harun Fazul was killed.

Administration officials also herald the recent U.S./Pakistani joint arrest of Younis al-Mauritani  in Quetta.

Going back to August 2009, Tehrik e-Taliban Pakistan leader Baitullah Mahsud was killed in Pakistan.

In September of that month, Jemayah Islamiya operational planner Noordin Muhammad Top was killed in Indonesia, and AQEA planner Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan was killed in Somalia.

Then in December 2009 in Pakistan, al Qaeda operational commanders Saleh al-Somali and ‘Abdallah Sa’id were killed.

In February 2010, in Pakistan,  Taliban deputy and military commander Abdul Ghani Beradar was captured; Haqqani network commander Muhammad Haqqani was killed; and Lashkar-e Jhangvi leader Qari Zafar was killed.

In March 2010, al Qaeda operative Hussein al-Yemeni was killed in Pakistan, while senior Jemayah Islamiya operative Dulmatin  – accused of being the mastermind behind the 2002 Bali bombings – was killed during a raid in Indonesia.

There is more at the link. It does not include bringing down Moammar Gaddafi. This is the same Moammar Gaddafi that Bush reached a diplomatic deal with. Actually Bush claimed credit for negotiations about WMD that had started during the Clinton administration. Republicans talk about national security the way teen punks talk about being tough in really bad 1950s teen exploitation movies. Look behind the curtain and they shouldn’t brag as much as they do, they just do not have the facts, the real outcomes to back them up. And just a reminder that Republican Robert Gates was SecDef until 2011. A name that conservatives in 2007 tossed around as a potential presidential candidate. If conservatives want to make the case that President Obama has done a terrible job, they also simultaneously make the case that one of their own is incompetent terrorist appeaser.

To casual observers it may seem like conservatives are maintaining a constant level of shrill paranoia, false and sleazy accusations and generally immoral behavior. It is not a scientific measurement, but comparing what I read at conservative blogs, conservative newspaper columns and listen to from conservative media, the spin on Benghazi, Libya is especially shrill,  as is the following story because they sense they are not going to have a huge win this election cycle. Nothing whines as loud as a conservative scorned at the ballot box. They think, within the nice safe bubble of the Republican echo chambers that all the trends, the “facts” are on their side and are panicked to find out that sane America disagrees. With ‘Dreams From My Real Father,’ Have Obama Haters Hit Rock Bottom?

After four years of invective, four years during which the right has called President Obama a traitor, a communist, a fraud, an affirmative-action case, a terrorist-sympathizer, and a tyrant, its shrillest voices have been reduced to the most primal insult of all. They are calling Obama’s mother a whore.

For a while now, pictures purporting to show Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, modeling in 1950s bondage and fetish porn have been floating around the darker corners of the Internet. Now, though, they’ve made their way into a pseudo-documentary, Joel Gilbert’s Dreams From My Real Father, which is being mailed to voters in swing states, promoted by several Tea Party groups and by at least one high-level Republican. At the same time, Dinesh D’Souza’s latest book, Obama’s America—the first of all his works to hit the top spot on The New York Times bestseller list—has a chapter essentially calling Dunham a fat slut. If Obama is reelected, it’s hard to imagine where the right goes from here.

It’s tempting to ignore Dreams From My Real Father because it’s so preposterous. The movie claims that Obama’s actual father was the poet and left-wing activist Frank Marshall Davis, who Dunham met through her father, who was a CIA agent merely posing as a furniture salesman.

That stench in the air is desperation mixed with the moral decay that is the conservative movement. CNN Lets Dinesh D’Souza Peddle Conspiracy Theory That Obama Is “Anti-American”

Conservative pundit Dinesh D’Souza appeared on CNN this morning to reinforce the message of his error-laden and factually inaccurate movie, 2016: Obama’s America, attacking President Obama as “anti-American” and claiming he has “embraced a Third World ideology.”

While CNN host Zoraida Sambolin pressed D’Souza to explain his accusations, she offered no pushback to D’Souza’s outlandish claims about Obama’s character nor did she point out the discredited claims contained in his movie.

If I had the time and artistic talent I’d draw a political cartoon of elected Democrats and candidates in this election cycle standing with their arms folded, looking forward, with frenzied Republicans throwing the kitchen sink, dirty socks and anything that can grab to throw at them.

Mitt Romney’s Moral Corruption Deepens As He Tries To Score Political Points From Murdered Diplomats

As events unfolded in Libya Mitt Romney and his sycophants have already tried to rewrite the history of events and to shift blame. So I thought I would post some of the more important links and a chronology of what happened. Though before I get to that there is this post from Josh at TPM, When You Learn They’re Not Ready

Romney’s attack was not only ill-judged and ill-timed, it was actually based on what appears to be a demonstrable falsehood. Romney, or folks writing in his name at his campaign, claimed that the administration’s first response to the attacks was to issue a press release condemning the anti-Islam film which had helped trigger the attack. This they picked wholesale from the right-wing blogosphere.

In fact, according to all available press reports and the account of the State Department, the press release in question came from the US Embassy in Egypt and preceded the attacks. So to claim it was a response to the attacks was simply false. So while American diplomats were dying in the field, Romney pops up with an egregious attempt to politicize the deaths with a flat out lie.

Behind the curtains a more chaotic and rash picture emerges.

The statement from the Romney campaign was initially released by Romney press secretary Andrea Saul at 10:09 PM — but under an embargo until midnight on September 12th. In other words, it was embargoed until September 11th was over.

Then a few minutes later at 10:24 PM the embargo was lifted and reporters were told they could use the statement immediately. There was no clear explanation of the change.

Bear in mind, this was all happening while attacks on US personnel abroad were ongoing. According to a statement released this morning by the White House, the President was told last night that Ambassador Chris Stevens was unaccounted for. Only this morning did he learn that Stevens had died in the attacks that were on-going last night.

The campaign also authorized Romney’s top foreign policy advisor to give a blistering interview attacking the president while the attacks were continuing.

Politics is hardball. Everything is, in some sense, fair. But campaigns are also a prism into the judgment and steadiness under pressure of a person who would be president. This was amateur hour for the opposition campaign last night, reminiscent of John McCain’s rash call four years ago to cancel the presidential debates and the campaign itself to deal with the unfolding economic crisis. There was nothing ignoble or dishonorable about McCain’s suggestion. It just showed a certain rashness that was widely viewed as unpresidential.

Romney’s moment was quite different — rash and shameful. Not worthy of a president. Crass, undignified and troubling on many levels.

In short, there were some rumbling in the streets of Libya and Egypt about this inflammatory anti-Islam film. One person at the U.S. embassy in Libya took it upon himself to issue a statement on Twitter that condemned the film. That statement was not approved by the State Department, nor Sec. of State Clinton, nor President Obama. In fact that embassy employee was explicitly told not to release such a statement. Josh and some others think Romney’s rush to exploit this tragedy without the facts is very damning for Romney. Things like this do not matter to the far Right.  Todd Atins makes a statement about no woman ever getting pregnant from “real” rape. A few conservatives condemn him, but most of the far Right comes to his defense. While the name George W. Bush may still be political poison, the far Right still defends the righteousness of getting over 4000 Americans killed for a lie. Does anyone really think the fans of Akins or Bush’s lies care that Romney has acted like a vile little gutter rat. of course not. It does make a difference around the edges. Romney just caused…whatever a half percent or two percent of conservative to stay home on election day. Mitt infuriated a few more undecided independent voters that do not want another manipulative immature arrogant blow-hard in charge of U.S. foreign policy. Those are the practical reasons. Sure to Democrats, some independents and a few Republicans this whole debacle matters on principle, the kind of issue that Josh is framing it as, to the radical Right, its another day for flame throwing and demagoguery. Josh laid out the time-line, but this is an interesting bit of news that was in the NYT and later changed, that had a source within the Romney campaign speaking about how Romney had screwed up yet again, Anonymous Romney-Bashing Quote Disappears From New York Times Story

Early Wednesday evening, the New York Times published an article online titled, “Behind Romney’s Decision to Attack Obama on Libya,” that included an exceptionally juicy quote about halfway down.

In that story — whose text was emailed to reporters by the liberal group Americans United for Change — there was a paragraph that read as follows:

And as an adviser to the campaign who worked in the George W. Bush administration said on Wednesday, Mr. Romney’s accusation that Mr. Obama had invited the attacks because he had weakened America looked like “he had forgotten the first rule in a crisis: don’t start talking before you understand what’s happening.”

Within hours, however, that story — initially bylined David Sanger and Ashley Parker — was replaced by a lengthier, more fleshed-out version of the story, now bylined by Peter Baker and Ashley Parker. (The initial item can be read here.) The new article included more context, a few fresh bits of reporting, and a structure that seemed more fitting for the print edition of the newspaper. It also carried a new headline: “A Challenger’s Criticism Is Furiously Returned.” (The URL for the story still included the original headline.)

But the new version of the story was missing the quote from the anonymous Romney adviser slamming his own candidate — perhaps the newsiest piece of information in the original item.

The current version of the story does include quotes from other Republicans questioning the timing of Romney’s aggressive critiques of the Obama administration, but not from anyone officially aligned with the campaign.

This is the internet. There are no take-backs of quotes like that. Romney’s own campaign, a neocon at that, said that Romney threw himself under the bus. The Obama administration’s first official statement was released read , ‘FACT CHECK: Romney Misstates Facts On Attacks

Clinton had offered the administration’s first response to the violence in Libya, explicitly condemning the attack there and confirming the death of a State Department official.

“I condemn in the strongest terms the attack on our mission in Benghazi today,” Clinton said in a written statement received by The Associated Press at 10:08 p.m. “As we work to secure our personnel and facilities, we have confirmed that one of our State Department officers was killed. We are heartbroken by this terrible loss.”

At the time, the Romney campaign did not know that the U.S. ambassador, Christopher Stevens, had been killed, nor did the Obama administration. Libyans told American officials around midnight that the ambassador had died, but Americans were unable to confirm his identity until hours later.

“I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens,” Obama said in his first statement at 7:21 a.m. Wednesday, the next morning.

There was no apology to any terrorists, no apology for any American policy. Simply a condemnation of the violence and later the death. There were other conservatives who thought Mitt had jumped the shark, Even As Experts, GOP Figures Criticize Romney’s Embassy Statement, Right-Wing Pundits Blame “The Media”

VOA: Former Defense Department Official Korb Said He Is “Appalled” By Romney’s Comments. From a September 12 Voice of America article about Romney’s criticism of Obama following the embassy attacks:

The Romney comments also provoked a strong reaction from some foreign policy experts.

Lawrence Korb is a former Defense Department official who is now with the Center for American Progress, a Democratic-leaning policy research group in Washington.

“Well, I should say that I’m appalled, but not surprised because I think the Romney campaign is desperate to try and close the gap on foreign policy, which had been a traditional Republican strength in the elections but it is not this time,” Korb said. [Voice of America, 9/12/12]

Former Ambassador And NATO Representative Burns: “I Was Frankly Very Disappointed And Dismayed To See Gov. Romney Inject Politics Into This Very Difficult Situation.” During an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Nicholas Burns, who served in State Departments under President George W. Bush and President Clinton, said:

BURNS: This is a tragic day for our country and our foreign service. Four outstanding Americans have been killed. And I was frankly very disappointed and dismayed to see Governor Romney inject politics into this very difficult situation, where our embassies are under attack, where there’s been a big misunderstanding in the Middle East, apparently, about an American film, where we’re trying to preserve the lives of our diplomats — this is no time for politics.

I watched Secretary Clinton’s statement this morning, and I read President Obama’s statement, and I’ve looked at the statement that you’ve just referred to issued 24 hours ago by our embassy in Cairo. In no way, shape, or form is the U.S. government or the Obama administration apologizing for terrorists or sympathizing with them. What I heard from the president and Secretary Clinton was a very definite rejection of terrorism and, of course, our government’s going to call on the Egyptian and Libyan governments to apprehend these people and to put them on trial. So I just think that Governor Romney has, in a very unwise way, injected himself into a situation where he clearly doesn’t have all the facts. [MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell Reports, 9/12/12]

… And Was Challenged By Conservative Political And Media Figures — Including Fox’s Bill O’Reilly

Bill O’Reilly: “I’m Not Sure [Romney] Is Correct On That. The Embassy Was Trying To Head Off The Violence” With Statement. During the September 12 edition of Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, host Bill O’Reilly played video of Romney’s remarks from his September 12 press conference and said, “I’m not sure the governor is correct on that. The embassy was trying to head off the violence” with their statement. [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 9/12/12]

Former McCain Adviser: Pointing Out “That We Reject Vile Attacks On Muslims…Does Not Constitute Sympathy For The People Besieging Our Embassy As Gov. Romney Alleged.” Longtime John McCain adviser Mark Salter responded to Romney’s remarks on the embassy’s statement on the website RealClearPolitics:

[T]here is nothing wrong in principle with making clear to people, who have yet to embrace the categorical right to free speech, that Americans and their government deplore the deplorable, that we reject vile attacks on Muslims as vigorously as we reject vile anti-Semitic attacks.

To do so does not constitute sympathy for the people besieging our embassy, as Gov. Romney alleged. Nor is at an apology for America, as some Obama critics have claimed. It’s an expression of our decency. [RealClearPolitics, 9/12/12]

Noonan: Romney Isn’t “Doing Himself Any Favors,” “When Hot Things Happen, Cool Words — Or No Words — Is The Way To Go.” Former Ronald Reagan speechwriter and Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan commented on Romney’s remarks on Fox News, a Wall Street Journal blog reported:

Peggy Noonan, a speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan who writes a column for The Wall Street Journal’s opinion pages, said on Fox News that he had opened himself up to accusations that he was “trying to exploit things politically.”

“I belong to the old school of thinking in times of great drama and heightened crisis, and at times when something violent is happening to your people, I always think discretion is the better way to go,” she said. “I don’t feel that Mr. Romney has been doing himself any favors…. When hot things happen, cool words- or no words- is the way to go.” [Washington Wire, The Wall Street Journal, 9/12/12]

Frum: “The Romney Campaign’s Attempt To Score Political Points On The Killing Of American Diplomats Was A Dismal Business In Every Respect.” The Journal blog also reported that David Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, was also critical of Romney’s comments:

Conservative writer David Frum wrote on Wednesday, “Politicians must pander, it goes with the job. But they mustn’t leave their fingerprints all over their pandering. The Romney campaign’s attempt to score political points on the killing of American diplomats was a dismal business in every respect.” [Washington Wire, The Wall Street Journal, 9/12/12]

There were others and I would not be surprised to see Noonan walk back some of her statement, though there is no putting the genie back in the bottle. Romney tried to exploit the deaths of Americans for political advantage. Again, does it matter if this hurts Romney politically, maybe not, though it should. What matters here is the venality, the pride Romney displayed of his deep and sickening moral bankruptcy.

To back up the time-line for a moment. The story behind the release of that first embassy Tweet, Inside the public relations disaster at the Cairo embassy

Two additional administration officials confirmed the details of this account when contacted late Wednesday by The Cable.

The statement, issued as a press release on the U.S. Embassy website, has been attacked by Republican challenger Mitt Romney, lawmakers, and conservatives around the country as an inappropriate “apology” and a failure to stand up for American principles such as freedom of speech.

The White House distanced itself from the statement Tuesday, and Romney criticized it directly in his initial reaction to the attacks in Egypt and Libya shortly thereafter, accusing President Barack Obama of evicing sympathy for the attackers.

On Wednesday, Romney doubled down on that criticism, saying, “I think it’s a terrible course for America to apologize for our values.”

President Obama commented on the controversy in an interview to be aired Wednesday evening on 60 Minutes.

“In an effort to cool the situation down, it didn’t come from me, it didn’t come from Secretary Clinton. It came from people on the ground who are potentially in danger,” Obama said. “And my tendency is to cut folks a little bit of slack when they’re in that circumstance, rather than try to question their judgment from the comfort of a campaign office.” ( I tend to agree with the President. This one guy was on the ground there and did what he thought might help diffuse the impression there was any U.S. involvement with this film)

But Obama’s remarks belie the enormous frustration of top officials at the State Department and White House with the actions of the man behind the statement, Cairo senior public affairs officer Larry Schwartz, who wrote the release and oversees the embassy’s Twitter feed, according to a detailed account of the Tuesday’s events.

The official noted that the statement was posted at exactly 12:18 p.m. Cairo time — 6:18 a.m. Washington time — well before the protests began. Romney has said, wrongly, that the statement was the administration’s first response to the protests, but the official said that the demonstrations did not begin until 4 p.m. Cairo time and protesters breached the wall about 2 hours later.

After the breach, as public criticism of the statement grew, the Cairo Embassy Twitter account continued to send out tweets defending it, some of which were later deleted. One deleted tweet, originally posted at 12:30 a.m. Cairo time, said, “This morning’s condemnation (issued before protests began) still stands. As does condemnation of unjustified breach of the Embassy.”

Before issuing the press release, Schwartz cleared it with just one person senior to himself, Deputy Chief of Mission Marc Sievers, who was the acting charge d’affairs at the embassy on Tuesday because Ambassador Anne Patterson was in Washington at the time, the official said.

Schwartz sent the statement to the State Department in Washington before publishing and the State Department directed him not to post it without changes, but Schwartz posted it anyway.

“The statement was not cleared with anyone in Washington. It was sent as ‘This is what we are putting out,'” the official said. “We replied and said this was not a good statement and that it needed major revisions. The next email we received from Embassy Cairo was ‘We just put this out.'”

A heated discussion ensued among State Department and White House officials over e-mail as the controversy over the statement grew Tuesday evening, even grabbing the attention of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, those same officials were dealing with a more serious attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the death of four American officials, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

“People at the highest levels both at the State Department and at the White House were not happy with the way the statement went down. There was a lot of anger both about the process and the content,” the official said. “Frankly, people here did not understand it. The statement was just tone deaf. It didn’t provide adequate balance. We thought the references to the 9/11 attacks were inappropriate, and we strongly advised against the kind of language that talked about ‘continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.'”

Despite being aware of Washington’s objections, the embassy continued to defend the statement for several hours, fueling the controversy over it, a decision the official again attributed to Schwartz.

“Not only did they push out the statement but they continued to engage on Twitter and retweet it,” the official said. “[Schwartz] would have been the one directing folks to engage on Twitter on this.”

This is what the Scum Factory Wing of Conservatism is now putting out, Ann Coulter: Obama’s Actions “Led To Our Ambassador Being Killed” In Libya. If that is the kind of logic, the kind of lines we’re going to draw between cause and effect, than radical terrorists attacked us on 9-11-2001 because Bush was clueless and saw Republicans as weak on national security. Bush was in fact criminally negligent, yet to conservative poopahs like Coulter, Bush is the paragon of conservative national security credentials. This is probably not the last word on the subject, but conservative, the far Right of whom Coulter and Romney are paid up members, may be partly responsible for the deaths of American embassy personnel in Libya,  American Who Sparked Libya, Egypt Unrest Hates Obama, Hearts the GOP

Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-American anti-Muslim activist, managed in one week’s time to take an overlooked YouTube video featuring a lame attack on Islam and turn it into a flashpoint with violent extremists, with deadly consequences. As the New York Times reported last night, Sadek drew attention to the obscure video clip “in an Arabic-language blog post and an e-mail newsletter in English publicizing the latest publicity stunt of the Florida pastor Terry Jones, reviled in the Muslim world for burning copies of the Koran.” Within days the clip was making the rounds in Egypt, prompting denunciations from politicians and generating press coverage, and culminating in protests and a deadly attack in Libya.

Sadek, who has worked with Jones in the past, says he is fighting for the rights of his fellow Coptic Christians in Egypt. Unfortunately he seems much more focused on attacking Muslims than helping the Copts. Sadek pulled his Facebook profile around 1 pm today, but we were able to take a look beforehand. Here’s what we found.

Sadek is a supporter of ACT! for America, which believes that President Obama has embraced the Muslim Brotherhood. The group rallied its supporters last month behind Michelle Bachmann’s anti-Muslim witch hunt against Huma Abedin and others. Here’s Sadek with ACT! For America president Brigitte Gabriel at one of the group’s 2010 events.

Sadek is a man of many interests. He’s a member of these groups, among many others: Islam is of the Devil, Warriors of Christ, and OBAMA IS THE WORST PRESIDENT EVER! Agree?. Sadek is also a fan of the Republican Party, George Bush, Allen West (for president no less!), and number of other Islamophobic, conservative and/or Republican institutions and leaders. Ironically enough, he’s also a fan of the American embassy in Cairo, which was overrun by the protests that he sparked:

Another instigator may be Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and the film maker often mentioned – a Sam Bacile – are the same person – at least it looks that way according to this report from the AP, California man confirms role in anti-Islam film

Nakoula denied he directed the film and said he knew the self-described filmmaker, Sam Bacile. But the cell phone number that AP contacted Tuesday to reach the filmmaker who identified himself as Sam Bacile traced to the same address near Los Angeles where AP found Nakoula. Federal court papers said Nakoula’s aliases included Nicola Bacily, Erwin Salameh and others.

Nakoula told the AP that he was a Coptic Christian and said the film’s director supported the concerns of Christian Copts about their treatment by Muslims.

Nakoula denied he had posed as Bacile. During a conversation outside his home, he offered his driver’s license to show his identity but kept his thumb over his middle name, Basseley. Records checks by the AP subsequently found it and other connections to the Bacile persona.

This all may have played right into a radical Islamic group in Libya who used the film as pretense for the attack. U.S. Launching Apparent Terrorist Hunt In Libya

The Obama administration, roiled by the first killing of a U.S. ambassador in more than 30 years, has begun what appears to be a terrorist hunt in Libya, as evidence mounts that the deaths of four diplomatic workers there were perpetrated by well-armed thugs and not an out-of-control crowd.

CBS News correspondent David Martin reports the FBI has opened an investigation into the deaths, and agents will be sent to sift through the wreckage for evidence. They will be accompanied by a second team sent just for their protection.

As part of the hunt for the attackers, officials say the U.S. will increase its surveillance over Libya, including the use of unmanned drones. In addition, the U.S. Navy is positioning two destroyers armed with cruise missiles off the coast of Libya.

One destroyer, the USS Laboon, moved to a position off the coast Wednesday, and the USS McFaul is en route and should be stationed off the coast within days. Officials said the ships, which carry Tomahawk cruise missiles, do not have a specific mission. But they give commanders flexibility to respond to any mission ordered by the president.

The investigation will focus on whether the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya was a planned terrorist strike to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and not a spontaneous mob enraged over an anti-Islam YouTube video.

After the attack, an elite anti-terrorist unit of about 40 Marines was flown in to beef up security at the American embassy in the capital of Tripoli.

The preposterous Republican claim that President Obama has been weak on fighting terrorists is a feeble attempt for the same folks who failed us with the Iraq quagmire to deflect credit where due, The Terrorist Notches on Obama’s Belt

The list of senior terrorists killed during the Obama presidency is fairly extensive.

There’s Osama bin Laden,  of course, killed in May.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) leader Anwar al-Awlaki as of today.

Earlier this month officials confirmed that al Qaeda’s chief of Pakistan operations, Abu Hafs al-Shahri, was killed in Waziristan, Pakistan.

In August, ‘Atiyah ‘Abd al-Rahman,  the deputy leader of al Qaeda was killed.

In June, one of the group’s most dangerous commanders, Ilyas Kashmiri,  was killed in Pakistan. In Yemen that same month, AQAP senior operatives Ammar al-Wa’ili, Abu Ali al-Harithi, and Ali Saleh Farhan were killed. In Somalia, Al-Qa’ida in East Africa (AQEA) senior leader Harun Fazul was killed.

Administration officials also herald the recent U.S./Pakistani joint arrest of Younis al-Mauritani  in Quetta.

Going back to August 2009, Tehrik e-Taliban Pakistan leader Baitullah Mahsud was killed in Pakistan.

In September of that month, Jemayah Islamiya operational planner Noordin Muhammad Top was killed in Indonesia, and AQEA planner Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan was killed in Somalia.

Then in December 2009 in Pakistan, al Qaeda operational commanders Saleh al-Somali and ‘Abdallah Sa’id were killed.

In February 2010, in Pakistan,  Taliban deputy and military commander Abdul Ghani Beradar was captured; Haqqani network commander Muhammad Haqqani was killed; and Lashkar-e Jhangvi leader Qari Zafar was killed.

In March 2010, al Qaeda operative Hussein al-Yemeni was killed in Pakistan, while senior Jemayah Islamiya operative Dulmatin  – accused of being the mastermind behind the 2002 Bali bombings – was killed during a raid in Indonesia.

In April 2010, al Qaeda in Iraq leaders Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi were killed.

In May, al Qaeda’s number three commander, Sheik Saeed al-Masri was killed.

In June 2010 in Pakistan, al Qaeda commander Hamza al-Jawfi was killed.

Remember when Rudy Giuliani warned that electing Barack Obama would mean that the U.S. played defense, not offense, against the terrorists?

If this is defense, what does offense look like?

 

Finally it is unfair to label all Libyans and all Muslims killers based on events in Libya, from which these photos were taken, ‘This Does Not Represent Us’: Moving Photos of Pro-American Rallies in Libya

Under another photo, with a man who appears to be the father of the two children, at the link is this caption, “Update: In the photo above, the sign held by the man on the far left says “No to al Qaeda, no to violence, this is a youth revolution.” The middle one says, “No No No to Al Qaeda.” The sign held by the boy on the right is hard to read at this angle, but says something against killing.”.

Black and White Sea Coast Clouds wallpaper – Some Thoughts on Foreign Policy

Black and White Sea Coast Clouds wallpaper

 

How did conservatives respond to intervention in Libya. This handy chart from back in March of 2011 by Alex Pareene is a classic case of the non-existence of principled conservatism – Need to attack President Obama’s handling of this complex situation but don’t know how? Our flowchart can help. Limbaugh’s declaration that Obama was “nagged” into intervention by women and Newt Gingrich’s crystal ball moment declaring Obama would give up before the job was finished give you an idea of the range of unhinged analysis by the Right. That things turned out alright is cause for celebration or at least a sigh of relief. Though Glenn is right about the use of the military in such adventures without a declaration by Congress is illegal. Just because things ended well does not mean the the legal issues do not matter. One thing about Glenn’s post that is problematic until he offers up some evidence, the US lead the way to using military force. Not that it justifies the illegality, but one can see why Obama did not seek what would have been Republican support for intervention. Just as they used the debt ceiling to take hostages they would have voted against intervention for purely political reasons. That is just where we are as a country. Conservatives generally have put a full stop of even pretending to go through the careful consideration phase, they go right into the reactionary phase: they’re against anything Obama does, even if it was previously a conservative policy, simply out of maliciousness. If anti-Americanism is to act in a way that is contrary to the country’s interests than what better example could we have than the punish America to get at Obama crowd. Libya: Huge Win for Libyans, A Win for Obama, Challenges Next

As it turns out, the combination of intelligence support provided by the US, the technical and financial and logistics support provided behind the scenes by Qatar and the UAE, the military interventions by French and British forces, and more helped give the Libyan rebels an opportunity to regroup after early setbacks and push Qaddafi’s forces back steadily and firmly to the battle inside Tripoli that we saw last night.  A key part of the success were the Berbers organizing their village militias west of Tripoli and pushing towards Qaddafi from one direction while the Benghazi-based rebels pushed from the other — putting Tripoli in a vise.

Barack Obama’s gamble in providing limited support for a conflict, in which other countries played lead roles, now seems like a winning move.  It’s hard to replicate the conditions of Libya in other cases because Qaddafi had a habit of making unnecessary enemies — most importantly in the Arab League, whose vote in favor of imposing a No Fly Zone over Libya was the trigger that led to everything else that has been possible.

Not so much from critics on the liberal isle, but conservatives could be grouped into two major camps. Those who were against any intervention because of X or Y, or those who thought along the lines of its too late or not enough force was being used. Declaration of war issues aside Obama was on time and used just the right amount of force. The US did not lead in the way we usually do, but did not follow. It was a Goldilocks moment. We were right in the middle of an international support effort that allowed Libyans to determine their own destiny. No action on this scale goes perfectly, but this is a good example of the way change is made. Libya stands in very stark contrast to Iraq – the way not to conduct military interventions.

Wingnuttia keeps having to spin new narratives for Obama the Marxist Kenyan anti-Christ who doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism. Two professional know-nothings John McCain(R-AZ) and Lindsay Graham(R-SC) serve up an example of the kind of spin to expect from the Right – The right’s bizarre response to Libya events

Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, among the earliest voices calling for intervention in Libya, wasted little time in congratulating the rebels and slamming Obama for not intervening earlier:

The end of the Qadaffi regime in Libya is a victory for the Libyan people and for the broader cause of freedom in the Middle East and throughout the world. This achievement was made possible first and foremost by the struggle and sacrifice of countless Libyans, whose courage and perseverance we applaud. We also commend our British, French, and other allies, as well as our Arab partners, especially Qatar and the UAE, for their leadership in this conflict. Americans can be proud of the role our country has played in helping to defeat Qaddafi, but we regret that this success was so long in coming due to the failure of the United States to employ the full weight of our airpower.

McCain and Graham, both of whom had warm personal interactions with Gaddafi in the past, have now gotten exactly what they wanted from the administration’s decision to intervene. But GOP partisanship demands that they not acknowledge the president’s role in assembling the global coalition that aided the rebels. Indeed, with the Republican Party wedded to a contradictory image of the president as foreign policy weakling and iron-fisted domestic dictator, we’re going to see a lot of bizarre rationalizing of what happened in an attempt to preserve this narrative of the Obama presidency.

 

 

For those keeping score. Bush/Cheney and the neocons spent about $4 trillion dollars responding to Islamic extremism – They squandered victory in Afghanistan and Iraq ( The latter of which was both supposedly the center of the kind of extremism responsible for 9-11 and the fly paper with which we would catch all the world’s terrorists). President Obama elbowed the authoritarian Hosni Mubarak out of office, helped put Libya on the path to a more democratic state and helped bring Bin Laden to justice. Conservative could learn something from this just as they could have learned something from the financial collapse caused by conservative policies, but we all know they will not. Conservatives have that commonality shared by all extremists, such as communists or fascists. When they fail it is never because of the fundamental flaws of their beliefs, it is because the enactment of their policies was not pure enough.

Not a good reason to become involved in a conflict, but a nice incidental benefit of helping Libya – Oil Prices Will Tank, Stock Prices Will Soar

Watch what happens to oil prices if and when the Qaddafis lose and leave.

In short order, Libyan oil production will ramp up.  As it does, oil prices in world markets will fall and oil futures markets will reflect the expected increase in production of oil from Libya.  The key prices to watch are those trading in Europe, like Brent.  US oil prices (WTI) are no longer the leading indicator of world prices intersecting with world supply/demand.  Excess inventory at Cushing, OK is complicating the pricing structure.

We expect oil prices to fall when highly desirable, sweet Libyan crude production is fully resumed and enters the pipeline.  Maybe, they are going to fall by a lot.  This will come as a much-needed boost to the US economy and to others in the world.

 

Not only gas prices, but food commodity prices should fall as well. Business Insider is also of the opinion that we are not slipping back into the first recession or a new one, but simply a very slow growth period. Lower energy prices might be just the boost we need to rev things up a bit. Though don’t expect gas prices to drop significantly for months.